To the editor:

To the editor:

South-Western City Schools voters are being presented with a choice.

Do we want to take advantage of an incredible opportunity that will impact every building and every student in the district for nearly half the actual cost and keep current programs in place for the next several years?

Each voter will have to decide for themselves on Election Day, and it is my hope that the choice will be based on accurate information as well as personal values, community pride and an eye toward the future.

Unfortunately, the present economy has created a situation where everyone is feeling the impact. The school district also is feeling this pressure, and it's multiplied by 21,000 students and 127 square miles. Fuel for buses, employee healthcare costs, utility and maintenance costs for aging buildings, and food purchases for school cafeterias have all increased dramatically, and the district has made adjustments, stretched dollars and been responsible with the funds provided to them.

Undoubtedly district officials would have preferred for the state to offer SWCS this $200 million-plus chance at another moment in time, but the timing was not theirs to choose.

I am pleased that the board and administration were forward-thinking and honest enough to present this to the voters in the present circumstances. They presented the situation as it was: the district has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to drastically improve or rebuild every single building in the district at nearly half the cost, and in order to prevent additional, drastic cuts to present programs additional operating funds are needed.

Jill Billman-Royer


To the editor:

It is interesting that in your Aug. 14 front-page article you quote Terry Jones' statistics regarding charter schools from the Fordham survey, but did not define who or what is the Fordham Institute.

A quick Google search led me to the Thomas Fordham Institute and Foundation. Both of these organizations work together to sponsor charter schools in Ohio as well as the nation. Additionally they accept grants and gifts to fund projects.

I found it interesting that there was no indication on the survey results or summary to indicate if this survey was paid for by a grant from anyone. On Fordham's site, however, they indicate that they will leave grantors' names off projects at the request of the grantor. Therefore, there is no way to tell if the final survey was skewed by the interest of a grantor or simply by the interests of Thomas Fordham, who is in the business of sponsoring charter schools in Ohio.

Also, Mr. Jones states that charter schools have no impact on the property taxes for the homeowners. That is simply incorrect. Our property taxes go to support charter schools. The money is taken from the local public schools over which we have control, through our elected board of education, and placed in the hands of the charter school.

Most of these schools are for-profit, out-of-town outfits.

Finally, the reporter completely left out another resident who spoke on behalf of the bond and levy issues and currently serves as the executive director of the Ohio Coalition of Equity and Adequacy of School Funding. His presentation was an interesting counterpoint to Mr. Jones' presentation.

So the reporter technically did his job. Most of what happened was reported. However, I believe you, the editor, did a less than an exemplary job by not insisting that your reporter dig a little deeper.

Simply reporting the actions is not reporting the whole story.

Colleen Cunningham

Grove City

To the editor:

My family and I moved to central Ohio from the Philly suburbs in 2006. After first renting in Dublin, we recently bought a home in Grove City and absolutely love it here.

The one thing I wasn't ready for was this comical animosity over these "unreasonable" property taxes. In my opinion, we have a long way to go before any complaining is warranted.

Our last home in Pennsylvania was about the same price and market value as our home here. We paid over $4,000 a year in property taxes, compared with $2,300 a year here. The taxes went up every single year and we never got any new schools. The kids also had to buy all of their supplies and there was no transportation at all.

The state never came around with any deals to help out, either.

What I'm trying to say is: it could be a lot worse. And it definitely will be if we don't pass the levy this year.

As part of this new deal in November, the state has offered to kick in 47 percent of the costs to replace a bunch of schools. If this economic crunch continues, or even worsens, the state probably won't be there again to help shoulder the bill.

This could leave us all alone to pay for the schools.

By then we'll have to slap Band-aids on the old schools rather than replace them. It will also cost more to do it tomorrow than it does today because the cost of everything keeps going up.

I hope enough people will be swayed to grab this while we can. It's easier to just think of "me" and "now;" that's what our kids do.

We're supposed to be wiser than that.

Todd Ulrich

Grove City